This is what my room looked like this morning when I went in to set up. Typical I forgot to take a picture before I left. I’ll updated this post tomorrow with a end of the day shot.
I’ve been frustrated because I can’t see our new curriculum, that I trained on. Well I can see the new 4th grade curriculum, but now I”m a 2nd grade teacher. So when I was checking that my Presentation Station computer was hooked up properly, I logged into the attendance program. I’m listed as a second grade teacher there. So I’m hoping that means tomorrow morning I can get into the 2nd grade curriculum. The curriculum is linked to our grade books and the grade book program is updated by the attendance program each night.
According to the attendance program I have 18 kids on my roster, 12 girls and 6 boys. Now I know that will change before school starts in 2 weeks. That is the nature of our school. Right now I have the class set up with 6 groups of 3 each. I have 5 ipads and 2 Itouches. So I’m going to set up 6 tech /supply bags. Each group will either get 1 Ipad or 2 Itouches. When my order from Interact2010 comes in I’ll have 1 ipad per group and one left over.
Image via Wikipedia
I’m processing a couple of new things right now. I’m moving to 2nd grade, and just confirmed I will be G&T Self Contained. Earlier this week I went to a workshop on our district’s new curriculum. Of course Texas sets the standards. The curriculum is how the district sequences it and suggested activities.
There are many good points. Topping the list for me is that it is online, less paper wasted. There seems to be some collaborative tools. Teachers can make notes in their digital copy of things they have on their campus or classroom to add to what the district has listed.
A big selling point they pushed at the workshop was that we were going to focus on deeper understanding instead of a mile wide and inch deep. Part of this is the focus on Power Standards that we should go in depth on. The power standards were determined by commitee using 4 filters.
- Leverage – Standards that are critical for the next level of learning
- Endurance: Standard that have value for life.
- Success in learning standards that apply across disciplines and promote higher levels of learning
- STARR – on test
That sounded great. I’m scheduled to take another workshop in August called IMath Academy. As part of that class we were assigned to read Teaching for Tomorrow. I have been reading it and am quite impressed. Today while I was reading this quote struck me:
What I find most disturbing about the current focus on standardized testing is that the evaluative “tail” is wagging the instructional “dog” in education.
Ted McCain. Teaching for Tomorrow: Teaching Content and Problem-Solving Skills (p. 48). Kindle Edition.
So I tweeted “good point will the new power standards deepen learning or make teaching more shallow” from my Kindle. Unfortunately all that went through was deepen learning or make teaching more shallow with the link. Not surprising I haven’t received any responses back.
Right now I’m inclined towards the opinion that the new curriculum will deepen our student’s learning. One big advantage is instead of each TEKS getting a set number of days or in some cases minutes, the year is divided up into units. Most units have a Power Standard that is an larger concept and other supporting TEKS and you have weeks to explore the concept. Sure we teachers could have done this ourselves, but it is a lot of work.
Also as a school on the revolving door circuit – I like the idea all the schools in the district working together and being in basically the same place. That way you don’t have huge holes in students’ knowledge especially the basic building blocks like adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing.